By Alan Diamond

Within the Victorian fulfillment of Sir Henry Maine many of the world's top students, in quite a lot of disciplines, come jointly to contemplate the intense success of Sir Henry Maine, someday grasp of Trinity corridor, Cambridge (1877-1888) and the most robust and unique minds of the Victorian age. The disciplinary diversity and scholarly stature of the participants is itself testimony to the fascination of Maine's paintings which, after a interval of relative overlook, is now famous as a special and fecund contribution to the improvement of social clinical research. The ebook is split into 4 sections, facing the primary strands of Maine's existence and writing, viz. his perspectives on social and political growth, his anthropological and social medical works, his felony and jurisprudential idea and at last his writings on Indian affairs, the product (in half) of his reports because the criminal member of Council of the Governor-General from 1862 to 1869.

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Extra info for The Victorian Achievement of Sir Henry Maine: A Centennial Reappraisal

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Maine already saw that Cabinet government resulted in transferring much of the legislative power from the House of Commons to the Ministers of the Crown. Not only has the Cabinet succeeded to whatever legislative powers previously resided in the Crown, but, 'it has taken to itself nearly all the legislative power of Parliament, depriving it in particular of the whole right of initiation' (PG: 115). The power to initiate legislation, in effect to define the legislative agenda, remains a matter of contention in the United States, where a President may be of one party and the majority in the legislature may be of another, and where, even when President and legislature are of the same party, there is a tradition of legislative independence foreign to the British model, facilitated perhaps by the fact that the President serves out his term of office, irrespective of the success or failure of his legislative programme.

When, therefore, he began to doubt that his own society was moving towards a higher moral level of existence, he ... switched to the 'life-cycle' imagery of legal evolution - the last stage of which is death. (Woodard, p. 235) And death, in the sense of the end of progress, coincided with the arrival of the final stage in the development of the legal system: legislation. The most important reason for rediscovering Popular Government, however, is the astonishing topicality of many of its ideas. This is the view of Professor Feaver, who urges that 'the polemics that have contributed to make Popular Government so unattractive to democrats .

GENERALIZATIONS AND PARADIGMS The power of Maine's language, the vividness of his imagery, the economy of his expression all contributed to transforming mere insights or ideas, however powerful, into axiomatic principles, or paradigms. Thus, [Maine's] theory of 'status to contract' is couched in terms at once specific and general but with sufficient vividness to enable it to outlive such rival claimants as Herbert Spencer's more obtuse First Principles notion that 'Evolution ... ' (Feaver, p. 51) Maine's style is undoubtedly a large part of the reason why his generalizations have remained memorable; more importantly, it is an essential ingredient in the mix of qualities which raises them to the status of paradigms.

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